Have you ever felt like your ears are clogged, plugged or full? It may seem concerning, but this feeling is rarely due to a serious condition. Below are three common reasons your ears may feel clogged and how to find relief.
Earwax is a naturally-occurring substance that is produced by ear canals. While it can sometimes be unsightly, earwax has the very important jobs of trapping dirt and debris as well as lubricating the ear canal so it doesn’t dry out.
Because the ears are self-cleaning, in most cases, earwax falls out on its own through natural jaw movements, like when talking or chewing. However, sometimes it can build up and become impacted. Signs of impacted earwax include:
- Feeling of fullness in the ear.
- Partial hearing loss.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Never use cotton swabs to clean your ears, as this is more likely to push wax further down. Instead, you should see a doctor to have the earwax removed.
Within the inner ears are tiny hair cells that convert soundwaves into electrical energy for the brain to interpret as sound. These cells are extremely sensitive to noise levels, so if you’re exposed to dangerously loud noises at a concert at Legends, it could result in hearing loss as well as a clogged feeling in the ear.
To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, be sure to:
- Wear earplugs or earmuffs when attending concerts, operating power tools or doing any other noisy activities.
- Keep the volume on music, TV shows and movies to a low level that you can still comfortably hear.
- Try to keep your distance from loud sound sources like construction sites.
Fluid in the Ear
There are several ways fluid can become trapped in the ear.
Water can become trapped in the Eustachian tubes – the narrow passageways connecting the middle ear to the throat – when swimming, for example. To remove the water, you can try:
- Tilting your head sideways and gently pulling on the earlobe.
- Making yawning or chewing motions.
- Pinching the nose, closing the mouth and gently “blowing” out.
- Using a warm compress to open up the Eustachian tubes.
It’s also possible for fluid to become trapped in the ears during a middle ear infection. Most middle ear infections clear up on their own, but in some cases, antibiotics are required. To find relief for that clogged feeling in your ear, call the experts at Blue Ridge ENT today.
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